Team Mobiticket from Kenya has been awarded the top spot in the i2i DataHack4FI Innovation Award competition. In a hotly contested competition, the second and third places went to #KillerAnalytics from Uganda and Team Jobs from Rwanda respectively.
An i2i initiative, DataHack4FI is an innovation competition that promotes evidence-based decision-making for improved financial service provision to low-income individuals. The competition has brought together data enthusiasts and financial service providers (FSPs) to crowdsource data-driven solutions to real-world challenges.
The solution developed by winning Team Mobiticket enables public service vehicle operators to receive cashless fare payments through mobile phones and it then captures data relating to these transactions. MobiTicket already collects data from transactions on Kenya’s public service buses (known locally as matatus). Using accessible USSD mobile phone technology, their innovation allows passengers to get a digital receipt and a record of their ticket transaction. The bus drivers and conductors also get the benefits of this digital footprint and the SACCOs (the bodies that own both the buses and the licences) gain insight into the money flows.
The Grand Finale of DataHack4FI took place in Kigali, Rwanda, on 8 to 9 May 2017 in the days preceding the Transform Africa Summit 2017 (TAS2017). All five of the teams who participated in the final round of the competition were then given the incredible opportunity to pitch their solutions to potential investors during the ‘Face the Gorillas’ sessions at TAS2017.
It is a testament to the quality of innovation unearthed during i2i’s seven-month-long DataHack4FI journey that no fewer than three of the five finalists (Mobiticket, KillerAnalytics and Flippify) secured funding pledges from investors during these Face the Gorillas meetings.
In addition to this, the ‘Gorillas’ and an HR company that attended the event have expressed an interest in further exploration of the Team Jobs business model and a further two companies that participated in the Rwandan leg of the DataHack4FI competition are also in negotiations with the investors.
Team Jobs has been invited to send a member of the team to undergo business training in Israel.
As i2i lead, Celina Lee, explains, “our aim was to connect emerging data scientists with opportunities to apply their skills to the challenge of delivering valuable financial services to the unserved and underserved across the African continent. With more than 100 participants partaking in the final round of the country competitions, mentoring and training were offered to build capacity among finalists”.
The connections formed between the entrants, innovation hubs, financial service providers, fintechs, development partners and sponsors should outlive the competition and strengthen the broader data for financial inclusion community. i2i is particularly grateful to our in-country partners for their support of this initiative.
For more detail on the product developed by the members of Team Mobiticket (Nickson Nyakambi, Daniel Mutonga and Kraft Opiyo Owaka), some insight into the solutions developed by the other finalists as well as the full list of judges and partner organisations see the DataHack4FI brochure.